DIY Guide: How to Create a SharePoint Site
SharePoint is a powerful platform that allows organizations to create websites, intranets, and collaboration spaces. With its extensive features and customization options, SharePoint provides a flexible solution for businesses of all sizes. In this DIY guide, we will explore the steps involved in creating a SharePoint site, from planning and design to development and deployment.
Step 1: Planning and Requirements Gathering
Before diving into SharePoint development, it is important to have a clear understanding of your organization’s needs and requirements. Start by identifying the purpose of your SharePoint site. Is it going to be a public-facing website, an intranet for internal collaboration, or a combination of both?
Next, gather requirements from key stakeholders and users. What features and functionalities do they need? What content will be included? Will there be any specific design or branding requirements? Documenting these requirements will help guide the development process and ensure that the final SharePoint site meets the needs of your organization.
Step 2: Designing the SharePoint Site
Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, it’s time to start designing your SharePoint site. SharePoint provides various templates and themes that can be customized to match your organization’s branding. You can also create custom site designs using SharePoint Designer or other design tools.
Consider the information architecture of your site. How will the content be organized? What navigation structure will be used? Think about the user experience and ensure that the site is intuitive and easy to navigate. Mock up the design using wireframes or design tools to get a visual representation of the final site.
Step 3: SharePoint Development
With the planning and design phases complete, it’s time to start developing your SharePoint site. SharePoint offers two deployment options: on-premise and online. On-premise deployment requires setting up SharePoint servers within your organization’s infrastructure, while online deployment allows you to use SharePoint as a cloud-based service.
If you choose on-premise deployment, you will need to install and configure SharePoint servers. This may require the assistance of a SharePoint development agency or IT team with expertise in SharePoint installation and configuration. On the other hand, if you opt for online deployment, you can sign up for a SharePoint Online subscription and start building your site using the SharePoint Online interface.
During the development phase, you will create and configure site collections, sites, and web parts. You can also customize the site’s look and feel by applying themes, adding custom branding, and modifying the layout. SharePoint provides a wide range of out-of-the-box web parts and functionalities, but you can also develop custom web parts or integrate third-party solutions to meet specific requirements.
Step 4: Content Migration and Configuration
Once the development of your SharePoint site is complete, it’s time to migrate your content and configure the site. If you are migrating from an existing platform, such as a file share or another content management system, you will need to plan and execute the content migration process. This may involve mapping content types, metadata, and permissions from the source system to SharePoint.
After migrating the content, configure the site settings and permissions. Define user roles and access levels, set up workflows and alerts, and configure search settings. Test the site thoroughly to ensure that all functionalities are working as expected.
Step 5: Deployment and Maintenance
Once your SharePoint site is fully configured and tested, it’s time to deploy it to your production environment. This may involve deploying the site to on-premise servers or publishing it to the SharePoint Online environment. Ensure that all necessary backups and disaster recovery plans are in place to protect your site and its data.
After deployment, it is important to regularly maintain and update your SharePoint site. This includes monitoring site performance, managing user access and permissions, and applying security patches and updates. Consider outsourcing SharePoint development and maintenance to a managed SharePoint services provider to ensure the smooth operation of your site.
Creating a SharePoint site involves careful planning, design, development, and configuration. By following the steps outlined in this DIY guide, you can create a SharePoint site that meets the unique needs of your organization. Whether you choose on-premise or online deployment, SharePoint provides a powerful platform for building websites, intranets, and collaboration spaces.